A Conversation for Planning for Burns Night
Jamie Started conversation Jan 23, 2002
The last Burns supper I went to was at least six years ago, but from the hazy mists of memory...
Burns the man: From the arformentioned burns night, one thing sticks in my head. The man was as randy as a rabbit on viagra! What is not often appreciated (at least, it wasn't by me up till then) is that about half his poems are about the various women in his life. And there were quite a few.
Oddly enough, you don't tend to hear these poems a lot...
I recall he and Sir Walter Scott did not see eye to eye. Burns wrote some fairly scathing things about the act of union (1707) - there is a famous quote from him about it, which I can't recall at the moment
Sir Scott, or the other hand, was a brown-nosed lickspittle unionist, and more or less responsible for most of the tartan tat that poses as culture in Scotland today. However, I'll get off this subject before anyone can figure out my views on this
Why loved? Cause he was a pretty good poet, and Scotland is a bit short of national heros as it is (gits who would sell their own grandmother for glue, on the other hand, we are not short of).
Most of the poems are pretty readable, as I recall. Anyone who can read the Broons or Our Wullie shouldn't have too much trouble with them. If you want a real challenge, try reading something written in High Scots. Nightmare.
Order of night. Depends how formal the occasion is, but you generally have some readings, adresses etc., the haggis is brought in led by a (bag)piper to a slow handclap (earplugs are useful at this point), the (normally) bloke doing the honours will address the haggis, stabbing it with a big knife at the conclusion. Then the grub is served and everyone gets stuck in.
Haggis is actually quite nice, really. Just try not to think about how it is made (although I suspect most haggis these days does not go near a sheep at any point. Especially the veggie variety).
Note that the haggis is not normally deep fried, unless it has come from the chippy.
Who reads out the poems? Whatever poor sap loses the toss, normally...
Singing - beats me.
Haggis - traditionally involves a sheep's intestine, herbs and other stuff. Or just get it from the supermarket.
Food - Traditionally haggis, neeps (turnips, normally shredded) and tatties (potato, normally mashed). That's what you normally get in the pub, anyway.
Whiskey - dunno. Can't stand the stuff meself.
Toasts - hmmm, probably to the Queen. Depends how republican the organisation is.
Personally, I'd rather skip straight to the ceilidh (a mixture of drinking, Scottish Country Dancing and close-quarters unarmed combat).
 Cartoons published in papers and annuals of a couple of families in Dundee.
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